The GSU English Open 2016 was a great competition but fell at a bad time for me having only just landed back from Russia. It also meant I wasn’t able to focus my training for this as I would otherwise have done. That said, I would not trade my Russian experience to change any of this as it was amazing!
Another reason for going, other than more competition experience, was to support two lifters from Box Bell Fit who were breaking their competition cherry. Two lovely ladies who are stronger and braver than they give themselves credit for. And who performed admirably in their first competition.
The setup was great, with space to warm up with proper gym equipment. Particularly hanging from pull-up bars, and using TRX style equipment for the full range of shoulder movement. Competitions held in large halls don’t have these. The weather held up allowing for sunbathing and chalking of bells outside. The flights were run to schedule and promptly got through. Lifters were aware if what was going on through the use of a very effective PA system. I even got to judge an outstanding set from a young lifter who has great things to come.
I’m not unhappy with my reps/time, but only as I’d not trained properly for it. It was also awesome to be on a flight with three other women who achieved (or had just achieved) the CMS ranking I am working towards. It tells you a lot about this sport that I (once I’d recovered my breath) that I was knelt on my platform yelling for those lifting around me as they reached, and then surpassed, the numbers they needed for ranking. I was genuinely happy for them as I know the work and frustration that has gone into getting there.
All in all, a venue I’d go back to. Great organisation, information in advance, and during the day, access to shops for food and drink, etc. all help to make these things more rounded and more enjoyable than just meeting up with old friends and lifting. Not that those two things are bad in themselves 😉
The header photo is of me during my flight captured by Del Wilson. I love this action shot, showing me in triple extension as I jerk the bell overhead! Thanks once again Del!